I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hearts from a Farmhouse in France

...via my little beach cottage studio!

Remember the fabrics from France a few weeks ago? Originally I bought them for these hearts...but I loved the blues too much to cut them up. I had found this pretty roses platter for a photo prop! I had them in my mind's eye...so dainty and pretty.

I finally used just two squares of the pale, faded pinks to make a couple sets of my lavender hearts, as planned.

Then I couldn't imagine how to sell them, my copy brain went blank! Here's what my friend Mel wrote for me:

''Relive that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Provence or dream of one in the future with these whimsical little sachet hearts. Made from vintage French fabric and filled with dried lavender flowers (buds?), they’ll bring you a whiff of France every time you open a drawer...”

and here is what I wrote:

''Faded French fabrics from a long ago farmhouse in Provence/ French lavender grown in the fields and meadows below the lighthouse on Cape Cod. Perfection. I fell in love...and you will too.

Two dainty hearts, filled with dried lavender buds. Perfect, remember? Use them as you will: folded in the sun sweet sheets and towels, tucked in a drawer with your short and tees, in a sundress pocket, hang them on a bedpost or from the old china knob on the chipped pine bureau. Tuck them in your wellies, no rain boots needed on this perfectly glorious summer day....Toss them in a bowl with shells, and seaglass. Breathe deep.... Summer. Always.''

I listed one set with her copy and one with mine. Customers will definitely get the idea! 

Romantic. French. Provencal lavender. Summertime...

....and speaking of summertime, I made a few feedsack faded cuties too, shabby chic beach cottage.

All sent to you with a handful of white seashells and a starfish...

...now back to my quilts!

Have a lovely last few days of July!



                 gone to the beach......

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer's Bounty

Hi everyone! Despite the heat and drought my farmers market is fun and busy and loaded with classic summer treats.

I stocked up on Long Island yellow and white corn, lots of summer squash, and tomatoes...

All these goodies made a number of lovely, light summer meals! First I did my current fave artisan rigatoni, very al dente, tossed with roasted veggies:

I do the tomatoes separately, 275* for a couple hours. Just sliced, a smidge of olive oil, pepper and tarragon [or basil]:

Yes I know it seems hot to have the oven on, but it is so hot the AC is running full blast and it is actually cooler and certainly drier than I am normally  used to! Then I jack up the heat to 400* and roast a pan of the tiny squash, herbs, just-pulled onions, again olive oil. (You can use whatever veggies you  have, just change the roasting times.) Toss, roast/bake, maybe and hour? Shake the pan now and then. Add kernels of two ears of corn about 15 minutes from the end.

Make the pasta, drain, add butter, white wine, more black pepper. Toss gently with roasted veggies and tomatoes and coarse grated Parmesan. If you have some feta or goat cheese toss it in too!

Serve with the rest of the white wine, more parm, green salad on the side.

Yummy! A big hit with guys who have been swimming and surfing all day!
Dinner number two was an even bigger hit!

Inspired by this post at Eating from the Ground Up here plus vague memories of a long ago/ never made Martha Stewart recipe, I took the huge overgrown yellow squash and filled them with a savory meat filling. 

Scrub, cut in half across the width, then cut those halves into halves again, longwise, like little boats. Take a sharp little knife and score a square where you want to scoop out the innards. Place face down on a plate or Pyrex dish, prick backs gently with the little knife. Microwave about 4 minutes [check, you just want them pre-cooked a smidge!]. Carefully [hot!] scoop out the inner squash meat, chop and add to the stuffing.
brown 1 lb of ground beef and  some sweet Italian sausage, out of the casings, with garlic and onion. Drain well. Add 2 cups of precooked quinoa* or brown rice., 1/4 C. of bread crumbs, 1/4 C.-1/3 C. finely grated Parm, add more garlic, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, salt and pepper, basil, tarragon. And the scooped out squash meat. Mix it well, spoon it into the little squash ''boats'' Bake 350* for 35 minutes, add shredded parm bake a few more minutes til cheese melts.

oops, someone couldn't wait for the photo shoot!
It smelled and tasted THAT yummy!
 I served it with bacon/ vinegar/ broccoli slaw on the side.
Reheats great.

Add caption
 This is amazing! You cannot imagine how delicious it smells as it's cooking. Well worth investing in small containers of the seeds/ herbs..they're what make it so fragrant.

Quinoa* is a grain, sold in the rice section of the supermarket;  very easy to cook, takes 15 minutes. Do NOT use as much water  or broth as directions say. And do not overcook it. It is healthy and nutty and oh so good!
Have great weekend!



           gone to the beach...

and then the storm came!

the specks of light
are huge tankers and conatiner ships,
as much as 10 miles away

Eating from the Ground Up is a real cooking blog and I am pretty sure her dirctions are superior to mine, plus many other wonderful recipes. Check it out.

Monday, July 23, 2012

July "Porch" blocks and a Question

Hi! Did anyone get rain? We got black clouds  and just a few sprinkly drops. I just lugged lots of watering cans-full out to my deck flowers.

I finished my Porch Quilt blocks for July! This has been so fun. I am really  enjoying doing the primitive applique, I'd forgotten how much I like the handwork. Easier, in many ways than hand-quilting, which requires two thimbles and a lot of exact-ness.
I may even dig out my neglected Lighthouses blocks and do some work on them.(Only lighthouses I've actually been to see...I draw a simple pattern from a photo or postcard.)

Nauset Light, Cape Cod MA

Anyway, here's July Porch blocks:

 The birdie's eye is just tacked on there to remind me. Cute, huh?

Now my question: which binding do you like for my antique Baskets quilt? You can click on any photos to enlarge them.

It's all done and got stalled because I didn't have a great binding for it.
We have [in first place, my favorite]: a double blue or Lancaster Blue tiny calico. (all are repro, sigh.)

A close second, a dusty turquoise calico. [I love it but the quilt predates the design of this cotton, which is rather 1930s-ish. Repro, so doesn't matter?

Double Pink?

I might use the one above or a more traditional like this: [not sure I have enough.]

Black and white gingham, in a slightly larger scale, 1/8" maybe?

I also have a vintage turkey red calico with yellow sprigs, my original choice. But I decided I really don't want red. It's an option though. It's the same as this basket, and it is vintage/ antique...red ground.

Now remember we're not just picking our favorite fabric, we are deciding which sets off and finishes the quilt best? What do you think?

Oh and I finished this little guy! From Cheri's blog here...

Handquilted, bound, name embroidered badly....It will get a label with  designer info and date included.

brown chintz-like floral backing

Remember the sawtooths are only 1/2"...it's so tiny! I love it.

See ya soon with some maybe yummy farmers market foods and/or a pickle update,lol.



gone to the beach

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Beach Walk

Hi! I was gonna show you guys some quilty stuff, but on a glorious 70* Saturday in July I bet you'd rather go to the beach! C'mon...

Remember the boardwalk over the dunes?

It's a bit of a long hike on a hot day...but worth it! See how it goes aaaall the waaaay down through the dunes...?
This is how it ends in the summer.

It goes all the way out to the storm high tideline....[It gets removed and stored in the winter.]...

The photos aren't  out of focus, these were taken the other day when it was 94* and the white air is heat haze, heat fog!

Everything is monochrome...

even the sky and water are pearly grey with the heat...

On the other hand, look how nice and quiet it is again! The Fourth of July revelers are long gone....

A few returning sanderlings, below. Bet they think it's hot after nesting in the Arctic tundra above Alaska....

And my favorite pair of oystercatchers with [center] one big baby left to fuss over....see how he is still a bit brown not bright black?

Enjoy your weekend! Quilt pix next week, I need some opinions...so come back soon...



gone to the beach....